Elections

How to get a voter’s attention — flash mobs or a day at the gun range?

Some armchair political pundits are wondering what happened to shaking hands and kissing babies for votes.

That’s because this political season, voters might be greeted by a dancing flash mob or invited to a shooting range to get know a candidate better — activities some consider generally outside the norm.

The U.S. Senate race in Texas, which pits Republican Ted Cruz and Democrat Beto O’Rourke, is at the top of the Nov. 6 ballot.

But races up and down the ballot have inspired activism ranging from dances in the street to gun shoots.

“People do things that work so it is hard to think outside the box,” said Alex Kim, an attorney and GOP candidate for a judge who recently held an event called: “Machine Guns For Liberty.

“This was just a novel idea that went very, very well,” said Kim, who noted that about 130 people turned out.

Kim, a strong supporter of gun rights, is one of more than 80 people — as well as state Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings — featured on the upcoming Time cover entitled: “Guns In America.

He said he held his machine gun shoot after a supporter who happened to be a gun manufacturer loaned him several fully automatic weapons. Republican Willie Billups, who is running against U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth, urged people to join him for his fundraising shoot this week.

Across Tarrant County, Southlake resident Terri Hagar Scherer said she hopes the flash mobs she directs build support for O’Rourke’s message of inclusiveness. Their routine features a song and dance routine that turns the Village People song, “YMCA,” into an election anthem.

Videos of the flash mob show O’Rourke supporters casually walking in front of the Southlake Town Square. Once there, they burst into singing that includes: “Let’s join the party for B-E-T-O.”

“We want to bring everybody in,” Hager Scherer said, explaining that the political tone of the nation is far too divisive. “We can do better. We can be kind to one another.”

Both political camps said these events have not taken a backseat to knocking on doors and working phone banks.

“We are beating the streets,” Hagar Scherer said.

And Kim said campaigns haven’t left kissing babies and shaking hands behind.

“At the end of the day, person to person contact, personal relationships — that’s what builds votes,” Kim said.

Anna Tinsley: 817-390-7610, @annatinsley
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